CMS Issues Final Rule Allowing Greater Flexibility in EHR Incentive Program Reporting for 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Aug. 29 issued a final rule allowing health care providers more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use requirements under the EHR Incentive Program reporting period for 2014.

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Under the final rule, eligible providers can use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. All eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs are required to use the 2014 Edition CEHRT in 2015. The rule also finalizes the extension of Meaningful Use Stage 2 through 2016 for certain providers and announces the Stage 3 timeline, which will begin in 2017 for providers who first became meaningful EHR users in 2011 or 2012.

"We listened to stakeholder feedback and provided CEHRT flexibility for 2014 to help ensure providers can continue to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs forward," said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a press release announcing the rule. According to CMS, the increased flexibility will allow more providers to participate and meet meaningful use objectives like drug interaction and drug allergy checks, providing clinical summaries to patients, electronic prescribing, reporting on key public health data and reporting on quality measures.

An updated meaningful use timeline and a chart with 2011 and 2014 CEHRT Edition options is available on the CMS website.

Keywords: Health Personnel, Drug Hypersensitivity, Medicaid, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.), Feedback, Drug Interactions, Electronic Health Records, Public Health, Electronic Prescribing, Medicare, Certification


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